The Inequality Toolkit
Development, Testing and Publication of an Inequality Framework and Toolkit
The first Visiting Atlantic Fellow project - a collaboration between Dr Abigail McKnight (LSE Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion) and Oxfam - will develop a robust and pragmatic Inequality Framework and Toolkit that will help activists and practitioners improve their understanding of inequalities. It aims to allow a better understanding of inequalities properly in any given context, including their links to poverty dynamics, their main drivers, and the consequences for citizens, for effective programming and policy-making. The aim is that the Framework and Toolkit builds on the latest academic research and integrates practitioner, activist and policy expertise held within Oxfam to produce a theoretically grounded yet practical product that will allow policy makers, activists and practitioners to grasp inequalities with the width and depth required.
The team will also include input from Dr Polly Vizard (Associate Professorial Research Fellow LSE, UK) and Prof Ben Fine (Research Tutor, SOAS, UK) and research support from Pedro Mendes Loureiro.
Gender Inequalities in India
Addressing Gender Inequalities through Self-Help Groups in Gond Adivasi Communities of Kanker in India
For nearly three decades the organisation Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) has been working in the central Indian tribal heartland, to address chronic and abject poverty. The project, in collaboration with Dr Naila Kabeer from LSE, seeks to explore how Adivasi Gond women in India understand and experience gender inequality and the extent to which current interventions around self-help groups of women address the same. It also aims to identify emergent pathways to engender processes of change. This project would not only help in rethinking practice but also aims to contribute to the growing concern amidst academia to bring subaltern voices (such as the Adivasi) to the forefront. Additionally, it is envisaged that findings from the research could inform policy within ongoing government programs for impact both on poverty and gender inequality.
The Revolt of the 'Rust Belt'
The Revolt of the Rust Belt: The Communal Roots of Anti-Systemic Politics in the US and the UK
This project aims to break apart simplistic explanations of anti-systemic politics - in other words, the politics of those who have grown disillusioned and vote against the current system. The demise of the welfare state and the globalization of capitalist production chains produce widely varying economic realities based largely on geographic region, so communities in different regions have a different ‘trajectory of place’. The project intends to explore the communal roots of anti-systemic politics, arguing that it is these trajectories of place, more than individual circumstances, that is fueling the politics of Trump and Brexit. The team is interested in explaining the different ways people make sense of their experience of economic and cultural decline. If one thinks of black and white declining communities in the United States, for example, the experience of decline is similar, however the ways in which each community makes sense of their, very similar, situation can be very different.
The Role of Diverging Welfare State Trajectories on Income Inequality in Four Former Yugoslav Republics
This project will investigate the relationship between income inequality and different welfare state trajectories in four countries of the former Yugoslavia over the three decades since the breakup of the country. They will look at Slovenia, with one of the lowest income inequalities by gini coefficient among European countries, Croatia, with an average EU level of inequality, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia that have the highest income inequality by Gini coefficient in Europe. In the Yugoslav period, these countries shared generous and inclusive welfare system based upon the principles of solidarity and equality.
After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the welfare regimes of these four successor states evolved in different directions. The project will therefore examine the contribution of different welfare reforms on the divergent levels of income inequality in these four countries. The focus of the research will be on the way in which reforms in education systems, labour markets and in tax and benefit policies have affected the evolution of inequality in the four countries in comparative perspective.